Green Infrastructure

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Green infrastructure installations include distributed stormwater management infrastructure (e.g. green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, and tree-lined streets), as well as the greenways, parks, urban farms, and protected river basins that weave through a city’s environment. There are many ecosystem benefits associated with healthy and extensive urban green infrastructure -e.g. reduced stormwater flows, improved water quality, carbon sequestration, reduced urban heat island effects, biodiversity. Studies also indicate that green urban areas can improve property values and have multiple social, economic, health, and psychological benefits.

However, there are green infrastructure synergies and trade-offs that are not yet well understood. For example, investments in green infrastructure may provide livability and resilience benefits in a neighborhood, contributing to economic renewal and beautification, but they may also drive processes of gentrification and give rise to related social justice concerns. Developing science-based methods for understanding the interactions at play between green infrastructure co-benefit and tradeoffs is a core part of the network’s research efforts in this area.

Additionally, greater social and technical understanding of how best to design, steward, and govern distributed green infrastructures is critically important for being able to successfully leverage green infrastructure systems in support of environment, health, and wellbeing outcomes.

OUR PRODUCTS

Observations of the seasonal buildup and washout of salts in urban bioswale soil

  • June 2020
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Shetty, N.H., Mailloux, B.J., McGillis, W.R., & Culligan, P.J. (2020). Observations of the seasonal buildup and washout of salts in urban bioswale soil. Science of the Total Environment, 722, doi: … Read more

Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services

  • August 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Multiple

This journal brief explores the ecosystem services associated with different types of green infrastructure, conceptually mapping connections. Download the two-page journal brief. This brief is adapted from the following peer-reviewed … Read more

Advances and Challenges in Urban Green Infrastructure

  • August 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Patricia Culligan

This brief reports findings from an article considering multiple years of green infrastructure (GI) work in New York City as a basis to review the role that GI systems can … Read more

Using Twitter to Measure Wellbeing in Parks and Urban Green Space

  • August 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Richard Plunz et al.

This brief reports findings from a study offering an exploration of how social media, and in particular twitter, can be used to evaluate social behavior in public spaces. It tries … Read more

Vacancy and Mobility Implications of Informal Footpaths in Shrinking Cities

  • August 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Alec Foster and Josh Newell

This journal brief shares findings from a study that documents and considers the implications of informal footpaths, also known as desire lines, in the Lower Eastside area of Detroit. Using … Read more

Identifying linkages between urban green infrastructure and ecosystem services using an expert opinion methodology

  • August 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Elliott, R.M., Motzny, A.E., Majd, S., Viteri Chavez, F.J., Laimer, D., Orlove, B.S., & P.J. Culligan. (2019). Identifying linkages between urban green infrastructure and ecosystem services using an expert opinion … Read more

Environmental Equity and Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urban Tree Canopy in Atlanta

  • July 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Koo, B.W., Boyd, N., Botchwey, N., & Guhathakurta, S. (2019). Environmental Equity and Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urban Tree Canopy in Atlanta. Journal of Planning Education and Research. ABSTRACT: While previous … Read more

Green infrastructure and urban sustainability

  • June 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Culligan, P.J.

Culligan, P.J. (2020). Green infrastructure and urban sustainability: A discussion of recent advances and future challenges based on multiyear observations in New York City. Science and Technology for the Built … Read more

Twitter sentiment in New York City parks as measure of well-being

  • May 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Richard Plunz et al.

Plunz, R.A., Zhou, Y., Vinitimilla, M.I.C., Mckeown, K., Yu, T., Uguccioni, L., Sutto, M.P. (2019). Twitter sentiment in New York City parks as measure of well-being. Landscape and Urban Planning, … Read more

Reviewing Stormwater Utility Fees for Efficiency, Equity, Adequacy and Feasibility

  • April 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Jerry Zhao, Camila Fonseca, and Raihana Zeerak

Stormwater utility fees (SUFs) are on the rise among US municipalities. What do local decision makers need to know about SUFs and how should they be thinking about SUFs in … Read more

Understanding the Social Benefits of Community Gardens in East Harlem

  • April 2019
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Nada Petrovic, Troy Simpson, Ben Orlove, and Bryan Dowd-Uribe

This study is motivated by an interest in understanding whether an ecosystem services perspective on community gardens (heat island mitigation, food cultivation, etc.) can be combined with attention to the … Read more

Stormwater Utility Fees and Credits: A Funding Strategy for Sustainability

  • April 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Jerry Zhao, Camila Fonseca, and Raihana Zeerak

Zhao, J.Z., Fonseca, C., & R. Zeerak. (2019). Stormwater Utility Fees and Credits: A Funding Strategy for Sustainability. Sustainability, 11(7). ABSTRACT: Lack of stable and dedicated funding has been a primary … Read more

Enhancing landscape connectivity through multifunctional green infrastructure corridor modeling and design

  • February 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Zhang, Z., Meerow, S., Newell, J.P., & M. Lindquist. Enhancing landscape connectivity through multifunctional green infrastructure corridor modeling and design. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 38, 305-317. ABSTRACT: Landscape connectivity … Read more

Environmental and Social Dimensions of Community Gardens in East Harlem

  • January 2019
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Nada Petrovic, Troy Simpson, Ben Orlove, and Bryan Dowd-Uribe

Petrovic, N., Simpson, T., Orlove, B., & Dowd-Uribe, B. (2019). Environmental and social dimensions of community gardens in East Harlem. Landscape and Urban Planning, 183(2019), 36-49. ABSTRACT: Community gardens are popular in … Read more

Quantifying Urban Bioswale Nitrogen Cycling in the Soil, Gas, and Plant Phases

  • November 2018
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Shetty, N., Hu, R., Hoch., J., Mailloux, B., Palmer, M., Menge., D.N.L., McGuire, K., McGillis, W., & P. Culligan. (2018). Quantifying Urban Bioswale Nitrogen Cycling in the Soil, Gas, and … Read more

Science-Policy Dialogue Report No. 1- Distributed and Localized Infrastructure in Cities

  • September 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The localization and decentralization of key infrastructure systems has emerged as a potential strategy for helping cities achieve multiple sustainability outcomes spanning environment, economy, health, wellbeing, and equity. Examples of … Read more

Urban Tree Pit Design Factors for Stormwater Management Performance

  • July 2018
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Robert Elliott, Elizabeth Adkins, Patricia Culligan, Matthew Palmer

Street trees in the urban environment provide important ecosystem services including stormwater management, reducing pollutant discharges and flooding by lessening surface runoff. Does the design of an urban tree pit … Read more

Stormwater Infiltration Capacity of Street Tree Pits: Quantifying the influence of different design and management strategies in New York City

  • February 2018
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Robert Elliott, Elizabeth Adkins, Patricia Culligan, Matthew Palmer

Elliott, R.M., Adkins, E.R., Culligan, P.L., & M.I. Palmer. (2018). “Stormwater infiltration capacity of street tree pits: Quantifying the influence of different design and management strategies in New York City.” … Read more

Hotspot Analysis and Strategic Siting of Green Infrastructure to Maximize Ecosystem Service Provision

  • March 2017
  • Journal Brief
  • Author: Sara Meerow and Josh Newell

Ecosystem services are the social and ecological benefits that are provided to humans by the natural environment. Where should cities strategically locate green infrastructure (GI) to address the needs of … Read more

Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit

  • March 2017
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Author: Multiple

Meerow, S., & Newell, J. P. (2017). “Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit.” Landscape and Urban Planning, 159, 62-75. ABSTRACT: Cities are expanding green infrastructure to enhance resilience … Read more

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